Former Seattle police chief calls for repeal of 2nd Amendment

ORCAS ISLAND, Wash. -- A former Seattle police chief is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment, and the controversial idea is drawing both praise and scorn.

Norm Stamper lives away from the gritty streets of Seattle on what he calls his own slice of paradise on Orcas Island.

But the former police chief recently shattered his peace and quite when he went public with his opinion that the Second Amendment -- the right to own a gun -- should be done away with.

Stamper said he knew his proposal would cause a fire storm, but he went ahead with it anyway.

"Because I really believe in the need for us to examine the Second Amendment," he said. "I've come to the conclusion that that amendment is actually more harmful than good."

He said the amendment is out of date and "bears no resemblance to what's happening today."

Stamper, who was squeezed out of his job as police chief after the WTO riots, said owning a gun should be allowed as a right, but only with broad restrictions.

He said responsible people should be able to own certain guns, but they should be required to take classes, have certain qualifications and the guns should be tracked.

"I am not, in any way, suggesting that guns be confiscated, that guns be taken away from Americans," he said. "But I don't think people on city streets, in urban and rural areas of this country, need to be armed for war."

Stamper's controversial opinions aren't sitting well with many gun owners, and some have been less than constructive with their criticism.

"There are people who have made threats. And shame on them. Who do you think you are to threaten me?" he said.

Others, such as Alan Gottlieb's Second Amendment Foundation, have offered up a more thoughtful reaction.

"If put to a vote of the people, I'm sure he would lose," Gottlieb said.

Many people have called for tougher guns laws, but few can claim to have as deep a background in law enforcement as Stamper.

"In some circles, my views definitely carry more weight, because of how I spent 34 years of my adulthood," he said. "I was around guns. I carried one every day for 34 years. I've seen what bullets do to bodies."

It's those very sights and experiences that have helped shaped Stamper's current views on guns.

"I shot and killed a man. In 1972. I wish to God I had not been put in a position to have to use lethal force, but I did," he said.
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